Thousands of people across the country have been given charging documents (“NTA”) to appear in Immigration Court by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). But their official notices to appear were greeted by court staffers who called them “fake dates.” The immigration removal process in Immigration Court does not begin until the government (ICE) files the charging document (NTA) with the Court. Employees at Immigration Courts across the country are reporting that people are showing up on the date and time listed on the NTA. However, their names weren’t on judges’ dockets. That is because the government had yet to file the NTA with the Court.
The NTAs are real, but ICE apparently never coordinated or cleared the dates with the immigration courts. Some of the dates were clearly fake, such as September 31. Others listed the time of the hearing at 12:00 am, a time when the court is closed. This has created chaos, confusion, and long lines at immigration courts. Immigrants are left in limbo, not knowing when and if they will have Court. The law requires the government to provide or mail a copy of any NTA or hearing notice to the address that they have on file. That is why it is so important to keep your address updated with ICE and with the immigration court.
If you have recently received an NTA, it is best to call the EOIR hotline at 1-800-898-7180, before you go to Court. If you have any questions about this process or whether and when you have court, please call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our immigration attorneys.
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